Robots Set to Compete in Five Newly Announced Host Cities

(UNDATED) – Bloomington, Mishawaka, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Lafayette cities and their local high schools have been selected as tournament host sites for the IndianaFIRST 2020 Statewide Robotics Competition (FRC).

This is a tournament that matches high school robotics teams against each other for a chance to represent Indiana in national and international competitions.

Field view at Indiana State Championship.

Competing in the event locally are Aluminosity of StoneGate Arts & Education Center, The Quadrangles of Bloomington High School South, GalacTech, a community team from Columbus and Thundercats, of Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools.

This STEM-based robotics program is designed to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting sports like mentor-based programs that build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.

Cyber Blue scores at the end of the game.

Chris Osborne, Program Director of IndianaFIRST said, “Over the last few years, FRC in Indiana has seen enough growth to merit adding a fourth district competition. It has been especially exciting to see FIRST grow in Southwest Indiana due to a collaborative with Toyota Manufacturing of Indiana.”

Chris Osborne, Program Director of IndianaFIRST

Renee Becker-Blau, President of IndianaFIRST said, “The FIRST program has grown in southern Indiana, which is one of the main reasons we’ll have events in Bloomington and Columbus this season,” explained Renee Becker-Blau, President of IndianaFIRST. “Adding another qualifying event allows us to bring the excitement of a FIRST competition to a new community and giving our students a chance to develop the problem-solving, team-work, and employability skills we need in our future workforce.”

Renee Becker-Blau, President of IndianaFIRST

Bloomington

Competition Week 2
FRC Indiana District Bloomington Event
March 5-8, 2020 Saturday & Sunday
Bloomington High School South
1965 South Walnut Street
Bloomington, IN 47401

Natalie Edwards, Director of Undergraduate Recruiting at the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering said, “The IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SICE) is very excited to partner with the Quadrangles FRC Team 3494 and IndianaFIRST as a district host site for the first time! Over the past few years, SICE has hosted several FIRST events as a way to support robotics-interested students living in the southern Indiana area. It is vital that we continue offering these events to encourage students’ passion in STEM fields.”

Alexander Mervar a current IU Freshman in the class of 2023 at the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and also a FIRST Alum of Cyber Blue FRC Team 234 said, “Hosting this event here in Bloomington really shows the drive and push that the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering has for preparing its students for the future. So much so, that it has now driven them to create a district event here, which will not only improve the quality of students here at Bloomington already, but it will also help future Hoosiers as well.”

Mishawaka

Competition Week 3
FRC Indiana District St. Joseph Event
March 12-15, 2019 Saturday & Sunday
Penn High School
56100 Bittersweet Road
Mishawaka, IN 46545

Nick Kleva, Sports Market Development Manager for Visit South Bend Mishawaka said, “Visit South Bend Mishawaka welcomes back the Indiana FIRST Robotics Competition to St. Joe County. We couldn’t be more excited to have them back in our area exploring everything we have to offer and sharing their love of STEM with our region. The Indiana FIRST teams in St. Joe County do a terrific job planning the event and making the students feel at home while they are here. We hope to see more teams from across the state in South Bend this spring!”

Dr. Jerry Thacker, Superintendent of Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation said, “The past two year’s FIRST Robotics Competition has brought a lot of excitement to Penn High School and Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. While providing competition experience for our Penn Robotics Team 135, hosting the Indiana FIRST St. Joseph District event also provides the community with the opportunity to learn more about Penn’s stellar STEM programs and the project-based learning experiences we provide for our students,”

Sean Galiher, Principal, Penn High School said, “We are excited to host this amazing opportunity for the third straight year for students throughout our region to showcase their talents. FIRST provides an opportunity for students to cultivate their curiosity and inspires them to be science and technology leaders. The learning experiences that come from participating in these competitions foster lifelong learning and promote opportunities to build self-confidence, bolster communication skills and support leadership growth.”

Columbus

Competition Week 4
FRC Indiana District Columbus Event
March 19-21, 2020 Friday & Saturday
Columbus North High School
1400 25th Street
Columbus, IN 47201

Jim Roberts, Superintendent Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation said, “It is with excitement that our school corporation looks forward to hosting an IndianaFIRST District Event in March 2020. As Superintendent of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, I have closely followed the activity of our community’s robotics team, Team 4926, and become very impressed with their efforts and the nature of the IndianaFIRST competitions. After attending an IndianaFIRST event at Plainfield in 2018, I became convinced that our school corporation facilities presented a wonderful opportunity to host a competition in Columbus. After consulting with our Team 4926 leaders, including Sam Geckler and Amy Liimatta, and representatives of our Columbus Area Visitors Center, we enthusiastically embraced the idea of having an event and are collectively thrilled that we get the chance to do so.”

Vasu Voleti, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4926 – GalacTech Parent said, “The First Robotics project-based learning experience has a remarkable impact on developing student’s skills and confidence. We’re so excited to welcome IndianaFIRST to Columbus.”

Sam Geckler, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4926 – GalacTech Mentor said, “Team 4926 – GalacTech and the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation are ecstatic to bring the FIRST Robotics Competition to Columbus Indiana. Columbus is home to a long history of innovators from the Reeves brothers to Clessie Cummins to Chuck Taylor! And there is no doubt that FIRST is inspiring the next generation of innovators through this incredible competition. Part science fair, part rock concert, part sporting event, we are excited to bring this imaginative experience to Southern Indiana.”

Helen Rumsey, FIRST Robotics Team 4926 – GalacTech Programming and Electrical Leader said, “FIRST is a great program for getting students hands-on experience with aspects of engineering like programming, build, and design. I’ve learned so much through robotics and I’m thrilled that our team is hosting a competition. It’ll be really fun to have a competition in Columbus and show off FIRST to our community.”

Indianapolis

Competition Week 5
FRC Indiana District Perry Meridian Event
March 26-28, 2020 Friday & Saturday
Perry Meridian High School
401 West Meridian School Road
Indianapolis, IN 46217

Chris Fultz, one of the mentors on Cyber Blue, the FIRST Robotics team at Perry Meridian High School, and coordinator for the week 5 district event said, “The Perry School District and Perry Meridian High School administration are strong supporters of the FIRST Robotics programs in the township. As a team, we have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with our school, and the school leaders are excited to host another district competition in 2020.” He added “Hosting an event gives our students the opportunity to showcase FIRST and their involvement to the school and the local community. Through FIRST, they learn teamwork, problem-solving, communication and other valuable skills. A high percentage of our students pursue careers in STEM fields and education, building on their experiences as a part of the robotics program.”

Lafayette

Competition Week 6
FRC Indiana State Championship Event
April 3-5, 2020 Saturday & Sunday
Lafayette Jefferson High School
1801 S 18th St
Lafayette, IN 47905

Danial Bravo, Championship event chairman said, “I am very excited that Lafayette Jefferson High School was chosen for a second year to host an FRC event. It is an honor that we were chosen to host the Indiana District Championship and the community is looking forward to host the teams who will be attending.”

Les Huddle, Superintendent, Lafayette School Corporation said, “The Lafayette School Corporation and Lafayette Jefferson High School are looking forward to be a host site for the FIRST Robotics Competition. The FIRST Robotics Competition provides an opportunity for a large number of Hoosier students to demonstrate the skills they have mastered in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).”

Mark Preston, Principal, Jefferson High School said, “Lafayette Jefferson High School and the Lafayette community are excited to partner with IndianaFIRST, Inc. in serving as a host site for the IndianaFIRST 2020 Robotics Competition (FRC). FIRST provides opportunities in STEM that promote collaboration, critical thinking and lifelong learning. Skills essential to all students and their future, regardless of the career path they choose after high school.”

Currently, 59 registered FRC teams compete in the state of Indiana. Teams will compete in four state district events, and then based on their overall success at these events, including awards and competition seeding, the top teams will be selected for the State Championship. Thirty-two of the state’s top FRC teams will earn the chance to compete at the State Championship event. The best qualifying teams from the State Championship will represent Indiana at the 2020 FIRST World Championship in Detroit, MI.

The 2020 game will be announced on January 4, 2020, during The FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff.

FIRST® is tackling the trend of declining enrollment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs by using a competition sports style model that makes STEM learning fun and inspiring for students. Some have questioned if something “fun” can be an effective tool to change peoples lives but initial data from a three year study by FIRST® on students in their first year of college indicates that FIRST’s® positive impacts continue into post secondary education, with FIRST® alumni continuing to show impacts on STEM-related attitudes, as well as impacts on interest in engineering and technology-related majors, engineering course-taking, and STEM-related internships and summer jobs. Results to date indicate that FIRST ® is already making a lasting difference in career interests and educational choices for the young people who participate in the program. So students can learn and have fun at the same time! See the full study results at https://www.firstinspires.org/about/impact.

This competition is part of the larger organization, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and their FIRST® Robotics Competition for high school students. Over 3,600 teams, more than 91,000 students, and nearly 26,000 professional mentors across the world from 27 countries (including places like Canada, Mexico, China, Israel, and Australia), will be participating in District, Regional, and State-level events in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 FIRST World Championship in Detroit, MI. and Houston, TX.

FIRST® was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST® robotics competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, robotics teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. These competitions create “real-world engineering” experiences for all participating students.

In addition to teacher mentors, volunteer professional mentors lend their time and expertise to help guide the work and development by each FIRST robotics team. For more information about this event, or FIRST Robotics, please contact: Renee Becker-Blau, IndianaFIRST Executive Director, at 414 704-1415. Additional information is also available at the website: http://www.indianafirst.org/ or http://www.firstinspires.org/.

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